Monday, 13 March 2006

Trying to Make Sense

This morning a friend of mine told me that one of his very close friends had died very suddenly last night.

Although I had never met this guy, I had chatted with him online a couple of times at the beginning of last year and my friend told me about him quite often. It felt strangely like I knew him.

I can’t begin to imagine how it must feel for my friend. In my thirty odd years, I have had very little experience of death and I have never known the loss of someone truly close.

When I was probably eight or nine, I was a choirboy at the parish church. For us however, funerals (which usually took place on week days) meant some time away from school and the chance of a tip.

My only remaining grand mother died when I was still quite young and although I visual memories of that episode, it went largely above my head.

A cousin of mine died years ago (he was actually gay himself and died of AIDS some years after moving over to London… Possible parallels, I suspect my mother is not too happy to contemplate) but I did not know him.

A schoolmate of mine who had been disabled also died a few years ago but we weren’t very close.

As a teenager, death had this sort of romantic aura about it, which would guarantee eternal rest and oblivion. Even now, I want to believe that I am not scare of it, that there is not much too loose by dying and that once it is done we are not there to feel and think any longer (which can only be a good think). This of course is becoming more and more difficult as my body and my psyche get used to the idea of being alive and get bogged down in living.

In any case, even if it is something difficult to come to term with, I don’t think that death is something negative. It is not something we can avoid anyway and the most difficult part of the process is probably for whoever remains; having to try and be unselfish enough to let go and move on. Ii seems obvious to me that the sadness people feel when someone close to them dies, has more to do with the feeling of being abandoned, of loosing something rather than real (and, in my view, unneeded) concern for the departed.

But this is all theory for me and I am probably getting it all wrong.

So, as I said, I can’t really imagine how my friend feels right now. When I heard the news, I felt like something went missing. Like suddenly a hole had appeared in the texture of life where this person used to be. I guess it must be what my friend is feeling too only much more powerfully.

He says he is fine, that, in characteristic fashion, he doesn’t want to talk about it. I just hope this is true and that should he needs it he will remember that I am there for him.

The friend in question here is Slightly. He had not posted about this at the time and I wasn't sure whether he was going to, which is why I did not want to name him.

First posted 10/03/06 - 4.45pm

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